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An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

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Girls cross country finishes 12th at State Championship

Allen Clinton
Juniors Sierra Pape and Cate Barton run at the APS Championship where the Knights placed second. The Knights also placed second at the Region 5-AAAAA Championship meet and 12th at the 5A State Championship.

Following a historic runner-up finish at the 5A State Championship in 2022, the girls cross country team placed second at the Region 5-AAAAA Championship and 12th at the 5A State Championship. 

Going into the State Championship, the team was expected to place 14th. Coach Jeff Cramer said he was happy the team beat the expectation; however, he wished the team placed top 10. 

“I was hoping for a top 10 finisher, and 12th was pretty close,” Cramer said. “I knew it was gonna be a struggle because we didn’t know who our fourth and fifth runners were. It’s always difficult to come off of two years in a row where you’ve had great success and then try to be satisfied with anything other than more great success. Your expectations get really high, and you have that elated feeling after every meet.” 

Junior Cate Barton said the team had many gaps left by graduated runners like Sarah Prevost, Jamie Marlowe and Emilia Weinrobe. 

“I think Cary and Sierra did a very good job in terms of leadership,” Barton said. “It was definitely a hard adjustment losing all of our seniors from last year though. Not only did they help a lot with running, they were just people we all looked up to. Also, during practice it was harder this year since having a lot of people running at the same pace helps, and we didn’t have that as much this year.” 

Cramer said the team faced problems due to a lack of experienced runners, but said the team will grow with these runners in the future.

“The biggest challenges that we faced were just a lack of depth,” Cramer said. “We had a lot of enthusiastic runners who were freshmen and young people who were very into it and had a great time and were working really hard. They just weren’t ready. Maybe they will be in the next couple years, we’ll see.”

The team also faced many injuries, with last year’s fifth runner, senior Jameson Knight, suffering a knee injury.

“This season we faced a lot of challenges,” senior Cary Schroeder said. “A lot of our team was facing injuries, like Jameson had an injury that basically took her out all season. Many other people had minor injuries like shin splints, but those injuries still affected their performance.” 

Schroeder said she was proud of the team’s performance at the State Championship, especially with the circumstances surrounding the season. The Knights were led by Barton with a time of 20:37, followed by junior Sierra Pape, Schroeder, freshman Dylan Knight and sophomore Halle Prevost. 

“Overall, I’m very happy about the team’s performance at state,” Schroeder said. “Throughout the season, our team this year hasn’t gotten the results we’ve expected, but I feel the culture and atmosphere gets better each year, and we have vastly improved on team bonding and working hard together in workouts.”

Barton said she was proud of Prevost and Knight for contributing in the state meet.

“As we were heading towards the state meet, we still weren’t very sure who our fourth and fifth runners were,” Barton said. “Dylan did really well at region and that carried on to state, Halle didn’t compete at region, but still did an amazing job at state, especially considering she was battling injuries throughout the year.” 

This was Knight’s first State Championship and she said she faced many nerves going into the meet.

“I was really nervous going into the state meet,” Knight said. “We practiced hard all season though, so I felt like we were ready. I’m happy with my performance. I’m excited to continue running and hope we do even better next year.” 

Cramer said he is hopeful for next year’s season, as the team is only losing two seniors.

“I think the team will be stronger,” Cramer said. “You’re really only losing two seniors. You have a lot of freshmen coming in and, and you may end up with some middle schoolers that we don’t know about yet that will come in, and we’ll end up being major contributors right from their freshman year. We’ve always had a freshman or two on the varsity team at state. That’s part of the fun of the sport is that your people can surprise you.”

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Charlie Kane
Charlie Kane, Sports Associate Managing Editor
Charlie Kane is a senior and this is his third year on the Southerner. When he's not writing, he plays basketball, soccer and hangs out with his friends. He is looking forward to writing more pieces in the future for the Southerner.

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